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GENEVA – The World Trade Organization is predicting an uptick in global trade this year and next after a lackluster 2016, while cautioning that uncertainty about policies like protectionism and anti-globalization present risks to its forecast.
The Geneva-based trade body, which has faced rumblings that the Trump administration might move to withdraw the United States, is projecting trade growth of 2.4 percent this year, up from 1.3 percent in 2015.
Despite the precise forecast, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo provided a range of between 1.8 percent and 3.6 percent depending on factors including the interest rate environment, fiscal policy, the results of upcoming elections and the level of appetite for more protectionist or anti-globalization policies.
WTO's expected range for trade growth next year 2018 runs from 2.1 percent to 4 percent.